Muswell Hill Library is a Grade II listed Neo-Classical library in the London Borough of Haringey built in 1931 by W H Adams. Between 1937 and 1938, a series of murals were painted in the children’s library by pupils of Hornsey School of Art. The single remaining mural depicts local scenes and is thought to be the oldest surviving mural in a children’s library.
We produced a study for refurbishments and alterations to create usable, contemporary spaces for the local community. The library will provide IT access to residents, calm spaces for learning and study, hosting council representatives’ surgeries and of course giving access to a wealth of books and other resources.
A key element of the proposals was moving the adult library to the first floor and children’s library to the ground floor, with a large book tree structure enlivening the otherwise dark ground floor space and celebrating the listed bookshelves and rooflights on the top floor. We created a visual guide suggesting materials, colours and finishes to complement the Neo-Classical building’s aesthetic and historic value and modern use.